BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN UDUPI – SOME OF THE BEST BEACHES IN INDIA

Many of us would have heard about Udupi food or Udupi restaurants but only a few of us might know that Udupi is also a home to some of the most amazing and pristine beaches of the country. You get different types of beaches within just a few kilometers – a sandy beach, a rocky beach, a powdered sand beach, a seashell beach, and may be other types too that I didn’t come across.

Best Unexplored Indian Beches - Udupi

It is also a very popular pilgrimage center, mainly because of Udupi Krishna Temple, and attracts a pool of krishna devotees from across India.

Udupi Krishna Temple is actually a Math

The weather here is quite hot but not that humid, and morning and evening are the best time to enjoy the beach unless you plan on getting some serious tan.

Route – How to Reach Udupi

We did a road trip from Bangalore and it took us around 9 hours to reach Udupi, including 2 hours that we spent at Sakleshpur fort and an hour and half worth short breaks for tea and snacks – the stretch of Shiradi Ghats was not in really good condition and that resulted in some delay. Otherwise the roads are just fine!

We also considered going via train to keep a check on the budget, however, since we were a group of 7 people, a taxi appeared to be a far more convenient and better alternative. Besides this, we love stopping at random places that we find beautiful, and so we all unanimously opted for the taxi!

BEACHES

Things to do in Udupi

We were in Mangalore around 6:00 pm and it would have been dark by the time we reached Udupi, so to end the day with at least some excitement and sense of achievement we decided to stop at one of the nearby beaches Enroute Udupi.

PERAMBUR BEACH

It was quite close to our current location and therefore Perambur it was. The beach was not very crowded when we reached there and the sound of the waves and the view of the shore made us all happy. There were horse carts, yes horse carts not just the horses, running on the shore which added to the scenic beauty of the beach. The beach was pretty clean and had soft sand – we identified a relatively less crowded corner and jumped into the water, played for about an hour and then were off to Udupi around 7:00 pm.

MALPE

Next day we headed towards Malpe beach around 9:00 am. It was about 10 kms from the heart of the city and it took us very little time to reach there.

Malpe Beach Udupi

Again the beach was pretty clean, and while we were on the beach, locals were still gearing up for the activities of the day (water sports and ferry services).

We clicked a few pictures, roamed around for some time and decided to head straight to St. Mary’s island. The idea was that if St. Mary’s Island is better why not spend more time there in the morning hours while it is still not very very hot. We took the ferry service which charged us around Rs. 200/- for to and fro per person and they also informed us that we would be given only an hour at the island, and then the ferry would pick us up and bring us back to Malpe. The ferry usually waits until there are minimum 10-15 people and it didn’t take us more than 10 minutes before we were off the shore.

ST. MARY’S ISLAND

The view of the island from the boat was stunning and it didn’t feel like we were in India anymore. So beautiful and clean, and more importantly such few people.

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This was one of my first seashell beaches that I had ever seen. The entire beach was flooded with seashells and there was no sign of sand. Another interesting thing about this beach was the hexagonal rock formations which made it look even more spectacular. The letdown was the heat of the day and rocky bed which prevented us from getting into the water.

We did pick a few beautiful shells and Shankhs (conch shells), and then returned to Malpe.

Even though Malpe was extremely hot by that time, we still decided to indulge in some water sports – mainly parasailing. The charges here are high here when compared to Goa – it’s 800 Rs. Per person and they asked for 500 more for the dip!

Around 12:00 Pm we headed back towards the city and spent most of our day in the city. Though there were a plenty of other beaches on the list, Kapu had to be out last one due to the time constrain.

KAPU OR KAUP

We roamed around in the city whole afternoon and headed towards Kapu around 5:00 Pm. It was some 19kms from Udupi center and took us around 30 minutes to reach there. Pristine  beach with ultra-fine sand, little crowd & high level of cleanliness as everywhere else on the beaches of Udupi – maybe it was because this beach was far from both Udupi & Mangalore. We also spotted some dead jelly fishes brought to the shore by the waves.

Jelly Fish at Kapu Beach Udupi

It was our first encounter with this species – wish we could see them alive. All of us played a lot in the water and my dad even tried ATV.

The lighthouse was another interesting part of this beach. The spiral stairs are beautiful but you need to very cautious. Initially, the rise of the stairs is reasonable but towards the end, it becomes dramatically steep, almost vertical.

Spiral Lighthouse Stairs, Kapu Beach Udupi

The best part was, we reached the top when the sun was about to set. The bird’s eye view of the beach from this point and at this particular time was mesmerizing.

Kapu Beach Lighthouse View Udupi

We could feel the breeze on our face and were so fascinated by the view that preferred to experience it rather than capture it.

UDUPI FOOD – RESTAURANTS & CAFE

Udupi Food Resturants Cafe

Woodland’s – Best Udupi Restaurant

During our 2 nights stay at Udupi, we mostly ate at Woodland’s – the food was good and even better was the manager/owner who interacted with us for quite long. He was very welcoming and gave us a lot of information about Udupi Food and the myths that people have about Krishna Matth. We found the Banana Bun to be very unique and tasty!

Must Try Udupi Food - unique udupi food or north Karnataka food

MTR

We also tried MTR one day and it didn’t let us down as always. There was one thing common at all the local restaurants – a Gadabad Ice-cream. Definitely worth a try!

OTHER THINGS TO DO

KARKALA

We were very interested in the Jain temples of Karkala, and therefore, while returning we planned our way through Karkala & Charmudi Ghats.

In Karkala, we visited one of the most beautiful churches I have come across in India, a Jain temple with Unique Architecture at Varanga and a few other small Jain temples in Karkala.

Best & Most Beautiful Church of India

 

Varanga Jain Temple - Best Jain temples in South India

A Small yet very unique jain temple in Karkala, Udupi - Some of the best Jain Temples of South India

We also went to Gomateshwara which had a 47 feet long statue of Bahubali. The temple is located uphill, and you could either take the stairs or get the permission to take the vehicle at the top.

Gomateshwara Temple Karkala, Udupi - Jain temples in South

What we liked more was the view from the top – there were some beautiful houses just behind the temple and they appeared incredible from the top.

AGUMBE

Even Agumbe is not far from Udupi – it was on our list but unfortunately that was all we could do in that limited time.

KUDREMUKHA NATIONAL PARK

Another possible activity could be riding through Kudremukha national park! Again, we couldn’t manage to do it.

WHERE SHOULD YOU STAY – Hotels in Udupi?

If you are interested in beaches, Paradise Isle Beach Resort on Malpe beach is an ideal place. We stayed here and loved it! The best part is you can enjoy the early morning beauty of the beach without having to run anywhere, and even at night you can sit till late.

However, if you are interested in Krishna Matth, there are a number of cheap Udupi hotels around/near Udupi temple. I would still recommend staying at a beach only and then traveling back to the city, if you have a vehicle with you – it shouldn’t take too long.

International Travel Checklist – Backpack Essentials – My Travel Packing Checklist for Thailand

I have been traveling frequently since last few years and over these years, I have become more organized in terms of my travel. Having a ready checklist helps a lot and so I thought of sharing my latest one.

Landscape

Following is the International Travel  Checklist that I had prepared specifically for Thailand (My 2015 Vacation Checklist) but with small modifications list remains equally applicable for other destinations too. This one isn’t very extensive, but I think it does cover what’s essential for a trip.

Travel Packing List

Depending on whether you are traveling to beaches or mainland or both, you may modify your list.

Packing Tips

  • Pack T-shirts as 6-inch Military Rolls – to ensure minimal wrinkles and ease of fetching the right one when required

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  • Use Grid-it Travel Organizer for Organizing the gadgets – well organized and easy to access – no tangled cables and scratched gadgets

Grid it

  • Pack all liquid or gel like items in small 100ml travel bottles, ensuring the total liquid doesn’t exceed more than a litre
  • Use a Passport Wallet to organize passport, tickets, passport photos and currencies – becomes quite handy during immigration, check-ins at hotels, interaction with tour operators and when need to fetch currency
  • Pack at least a full length bottom and a top that will cover your elbow  – in case you plan on visiting some religious places. Many of the places have specific requirements.
  • Pack medical supplies depending on your medical condition; everyone should keep and at least a basic first aid kit – you never know when you might need one.

Bhutan – The Land of The Thunder Dragon

Bhutan - The Land of Thunder Dragon

Bhutan – the land of the thunder dragon, has the potential to both, surprise you (with its beauty and culture) and shock you (with some never-seen-before things). It is the land of rich culture, majestic architecture, handicrafts, beautiful valleys, Buddhism and lovely people. The moment you enter Bhutan, you find yourself in a different world. The most noticeable attractions are – the old world yet very captivating and majestic architecture, a unique dressing style, religious people rolling prayer wheels and chanting, and almost everyone chewing Paan (betel leaves). You feel like you have time-travelled centuries back, to reach this amazing Himalayan Kingdom – Bhutan.

Surprises are good – they keep the excitement levels up but shocks can make any trip even more interesting and memorable. Let me share with you a few such moments which shook me completely. I couldn’t close my jaws when I saw a monk with a gun in his hand (children playing), a monk buying pork at a butcher’s shop and a married monk. Even more appalling was to see monks betting their money in some of the games at a local fair and to find out that following any religion other than Buddhism is an offence to the state. The other one is more like a matter of pride than surprise, that most of the major roads in Bhutan are constructed and maintained by Indian Military (Border Road Organization called BRO) only, through a project called Dantak. There was a lot to see and do in Bhutan. So here are N things which we liked a lot, in the order they are listed, which you too might appreciate if you visit Bhutan:

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Click on the link to know more about How to Reach Bhutan?

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Paro – The Most Beautiful Valley of Bhutan

Paro, a popular valley in Bhutan, is the house to the most iconic attraction of Bhutan – Taktsang, also popular by the name – The Tiger’s Nest. It is a naturally beautiful valley with cloud touching mountains, blue sky and a river flowing through the valley – an ideal landscape that we use to paint as children.

Paro Valley (6)

Interested in the bigger picture, then read – Top 10 Things to Experience in Bhutan

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Travel and be Happy

There is an old saying that there is a time in everyone’s life after which he/she starts loosing interest in his/her profession, routine activities and almost everything else. Everything seems trivial, and it becomes difficult to find motivation to take part in any activity. The wiser man may start questioning the reason of his existence. So did I!

Baba Mandir - Things to do in Gangtok

I started asking questions to my inner-self: what is the reason that I am working days and nights even when I am not happy? What is it that I would like to do in life? What can keep me happy? After carefully considering for few days or may be even months, I realized that traveling to beautiful places, admiring the beauty of the nature, participating in adventurous activities, eating/cooking good food, keeping people around me happy, remarkably boosted my happiness. Now, though I have identified activities which make me happy, I don’t have time – limited leaves you know. So, will I be compromising my happiness for the mundane activities of life? No, of course not! I might not have the answer today, but I have several alternatives in mind; the feasibility of these alternatives still need to be evaluated.

While I check, let me share with you how traveling makes me happy and can do the same for you. Though it may sound trivial, but nature’s fresh air and greenery can really reawaken your energy and enthusiasm. You can’t imagine this unless you have experienced it before. So don’t underestimate the power of this simple activity.

Phobjika Valley (1)

Watching beautiful birds and animals, playing with some of them or even running after them, can put back a broad smile on your face. Listening to the chirping of birds, the sound produced by a fish in the still water, enjoying the fragrance of flowers may become an amazing experience and even the time of your life.

Fragrance of

The adventure of traveling itself and the surprises on the course add spices to your overall experience. Moreover, I get to learn a number of new things about life, about myself and about nature while traveling. So guys, try it! This might work for you as well.

Invest in Exeriences - Gangtey Trails

Besides this, recently I had read an intriguing research report which stated that spending your money for experiences is a better choice for buying happiness rather than spending your money on products which may give you short-term happiness. So travel and see for yourself, how magical a travellers life can be.

The Magical Heritage of Hampi

Being such an immense country with hundreds, if not thousands of amazing places to see, there are also many sites that few people think of exploring in India. One of these places is the magnificent temple complex of Hampi, once the capital of a powerful and rich empire.

Hampi bird's eye view 1

Today, set in an unbelievable landscape filled with millions of boulders and stretching for miles in each direction, Hampi is more famous outside India than for its own people. The splendid temples and structures of the old capital rise from the rocky surface, attesting to the splendor of the old Vijayanagara Empire and creating one of the most beautiful and inspiring places to visit in India, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To experience the true grandeur and importance of this site, visitors should definitely spend several days exploring the ruins and the surrounding area, which is also spectacular.

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Tirupati Darshan from Bangalore

Information and Tips

APSRTC offers a good tour package and you wouldn’t regret opting it. Points to be noted:

  1. Special entry for APSRTC customers – Saves at least an hour or two
  2. No Standing in queue for tickets – can save lot of stress and time
  3. Buses are not as comfortable as you would expect a Volvo or Mercedes to be

I have been apprehensive of visiting Tirupathi because I had heard that it takes about 3-6 hours to complete the Darshan and even days in some cases. However, somehow, I made my mind to visit the majestic Balaji temple, but more challenging was the selection of a tour operator. Most of the responses on the internet were mixed one and hence didn’t prove to be of much help, but led to confusion only. After a lot of research, we reached the conclusion that APSRTC was worth the risk as so many known people had also recommended it to us.

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